Ungerfeld, Rodolfo; González-Pensado, Solana; Bielli, Alejandro; Villagrán, Matías; Olazabal, Daniel; Pérez, William
The pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) is a South American grazing deer which is in extreme danger of extinction. Very little is known about the biology of the pampas deer. Moreover, most information has not been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and is only available in local publications, theses, etc. Therefore, our aim was to update and summarize the available information regarding the reproductive biology of the pampas deer. Moreover, in most sections, we have also included new, unpublished information. Detailed descriptions are provided of the anatomy of both the female and the male reproductive tract, puberty onset, the oestrous cycle and gestational length. Birthing and the early postpartum period are described, as are maternal behaviour and early fawn development, seasonal distribution of births, seasonal changes in male reproduction and antler cycle, reproductive behaviour, semen collection, and cryopreservation. Finally, an overview is given and future directions of research are proposed. PMID:18534014
Background Pampas deer, Ozotoceros bezoarticus (Linnaeus 1758), is a South American grazing deer categorized as "near threatened". However, knowledge about pampas deer behavior including courtship and mating is scarce and incomplete. The aim of this study was to characterize the courtship and mating behavior of the pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), an endangered species from South America. Methods We performed focal observations of 5 males allocated at the Estación de Cría de Fauna Autóctona Cerro Pan de Azúcar, Uruguay, 4 times a day from 5 to 20 minutes each time on a daily basis from February to May. During that period we recorded all courtship and mating behaviors, as well as quantified the frequency of the specific behaviors shown. As mating were rarely observed, we recorded that behavior when it was observed in the context of other studies performed in the same population during the following 2 years. Results During the observation period we recorded 928 courtships and 5 mating periods. In addition, we recorded 10 more matings performed during other studies, totaling 15. The duration of each mating calculated from the 15 recordings was 3.9 ± 0.4 s, and the total period of female receptivity (from first to last mating acceptance) was 8.2 ± 1.1 min. Main observed courtship behaviors in males were “chase” and “ostentation”, while the most observed close to mating were “chinning”, “raised head” and “anogenital sniffing”. The most observed behaviors in females during the mating period were “vulva exhibition” and “move away”. Conclusion This is the first detailed report in pampas deer mating behavior. Estrus lasted only 8 min accepting only 3 short copulations per estrus. However, female behavior during courtship can be characterized as highly proceptive. PMID:23062236
Pérez, W; Vazquez, N; Ungerfeld, R
Based on gross dissection of fifteen adult animals (11 females, 4 males), we described the arterial supply of the stomach and intestines of the pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), a South American endangered species. The coeliac artery emitted the splenic, left gastric and hepatic arteries. The splenic artery directed towards the spleen, and the right ruminal artery, which is its only collateral directed towards the stomach, being the main artery of the rumen. The left gastric artery gave origin to the left ruminal, the reticular and the left gastroepiploic arteries. The left gastroepiploic artery originated the reticular accessory artery. Both arteries, gastric and left gastroepiploic, anastomosed their right counterparts derived from the hepatic artery on the curvatures of the abomasum. The cranial mesenteric artery irrigated the second half of the duodenum until the beginning of the descending colon. The thickest branch emitted by the cranial mesenteric artery was the ileocolic artery, which was destined to the ascending colon, caecum and ileum. The colic branches and the right colic arteries were irradiated on the right surface of the spiral loop of the ascending colon and distributed to both centripetal and centrifugal coils of the ascending colon; the colic branches were also anastomosed with the last jejunals and ileals and with the right colic arteries. There were no variations in the origin of any of the main branches derived from the coeliac and cranial mesenteric arteries. This species had a basic pattern of arterial distribution similar to small domestic ruminants.
Pérez, W; Vazquez, N; Ungerfeld, R
To describe the macroscopic anatomy of the genital organs of the female pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), organs from animals dead in a captive breeding station were dissected. A total of twenty females, 17 adults and 10 pre-puberal approximately 1 year old were studied by gross dissection. The ovaries of adult females without corpora lutea weighed 0.22±0.02 g on the right and 0.20±0.01 g on the left and accounted for 0.03±0.01% of body weight. All corpora lutea (n=6) were found in the right ovary, but in cases where there was no corpus luteum present, the right ovary tended to be heavier than the left (P=0.1). The absence of ovarian bursa, intercornual ligament and suburethral diverticle is peculiar to this deer species. Only 6 convex caruncles were found in the uterine horns, which differ from the more of 100 present in domestic ruminants. Four regular folds that were observed in the cervix of the uterus should not be an obstacle to the passage of a transcervical catheter, allowing intrauterine artificial insemination. The close relationship between the ovarian artery and vein stood up could be associated with the passage of the uterine luteolytic factor from the vein to the ovarian artery, avoiding its systemic way, as happens in domestic ruminants. While the plan of organization was similar, there are some differences with the descriptions of other ruminants. Our results may be very useful as it provides with information that may be considered for the development of female reproductive biotechnologies.
Beracochea, F; Gil, J; Sestelo, A; Garde, J J; Santiago-Moreno, J; Fumagalli, F; Ungerfeld, R
Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) is a native endangered species. Knowledge of the basic spermiogram characteristics and the morphometric descriptors is necessary to effectively develop sperm cryopreservation. In other species, sperm sub-population is related to sperm cryo-resistance. The objective was to provide a general description of the sperm, including sperm head morphometric descriptors, its repeatability, and the existence of sperm sub-populations. Sperm were obtained from adult males by electroejaculation during the breeding season. The motility score was 3.4 ± 0.2 (mean ± SEM) and progressive motility was 59.4 ± 3.7%. Ejaculated volume was 413.9 ± 51.0 μl, the total number of sperm ejaculated was 321.2 ± 55.4 × 10(6). Also, 63.3 ± 3.1% of the sperm were morphologically abnormal and 23.7 ± 2.3% had acrosome damage. The sperm head length was 7.6 ± 0.01 μm, width 4.4 ± 0.01 μm, area 28.1 ± 0.07 μm(2) and the perimeter was 21.9 ± 0.04 μm. There was a positive relationship among morphometric descriptors and the motility score, overall motility and progressive motility. Also length (P=0.011), width (P=0.003), area (P=0.006) and perimeter (P=0.009) of sperm head obtained in two different collections were positively related. Overall, the low concentration, volume, overall quality and abnormal morphology, and wide variation of these variables may be a limitation for the development of sperm cryopreserved banks. There were three sperm sub-populations with different morphometric characteristics. The morphometric descriptors are maintained similarly among different collections.
Fumagalli, F; Villagrán, M; Damián, J P; Ungerfeld, R
The aim of this study was to characterize changes in physiological and biochemical parameters during electroejaculation (EE) under general anaesthesia in adult and yearling pampas deer males (Ozotoceros bezoarticus). The relation between heart rate, pulse rate, respiratory rate and oximetry with EE voltages was studied. The changes in cortisol, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase and rectal temperature were determined before and after electroejaculation (BEE and AEE). Heart rate and pulse rate values increased during EE, with a greater increase in heart rate in adults (p < 0.01). Respiratory rate and SpO(2) were not affected by EE or category. The rectal temperature decreased in adults and yearlings during EE (p = 0.0001). Alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase concentrations increased AEE (p < 0.001, p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). Alkaline phosphatase and creatine kinase concentrations were greater in young than in adult males (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the EE under general anaesthesia in the pampas deer provoked increases in heart and pulse rates, as well as in creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase concentrations, and a decrease in rectal temperature in both categories. Oximetry values were especially low during the procedure. Heart rate increase was greater in adult males, and alkaline phosphatase and creatine kinase concentrations were greater in yearlings.
Pérez, W; Vazquez, N; Ungerfeld, R
The aims of this study were to describe the anatomy of the mouth and pharynx of the pampas deer, and to consider its evolutionary feeding niche according to those characteristics. Gross dissections of the mouth and pharynx were performed in 15 animals, 10 adult females and five young animals under 1 year (three males and two females), all dead by causes unrelated to this anatomical region. The upper lip entered in the constitution of a pigmented nasolabial plane. The masseter muscles weighed 43.8 ± 3.5 g and represented 0.23% of body weight, which corresponds to ruminants of feeders intermediate to grazers and browsers. Parotid glands represented 0.08% of the body weight, characteristic that also categorize the pampas deer as belonging to the intermediate feeding group. The dental formula was the same of the domestic ruminants. The upper incisors and canines were absent, and instead of them, there was a dental pad (Pulvinus dentalis). The upper canine teeth were present only in the deciduous dentition. The existence of a brachydont dentition turns Ozotoceros very vulnerable to continuous use as there is no compensatory teeth growth. The particular anatomy of the mouth and lips of this animal was adapted to a very selective feeding, taking highly nutritious sprouts beyond plant category. In conclusion and in addition to previous studies of anatomy of the digestive organs in this species, pampas deer may be categorized as belonging to the intermediate type of feeding.
Pérez, W; Clauss, M; Ungerfeld, R
We described the macroscopic anatomy of the intestines and their peritoneal folds of five adult pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), a cervid species considered to ingest a high proportion of grass in its natural diet. The mean (+/-SD) body weight was 17 (+/-2) kg. The small intestine and the caecocolon measured 495 (+/-37) cm and 237 (+/-24) cm in length, respectively, with an average ratio (small intestine:caecocolon) of 1.9 (+/-0.1). The ascending colon had two and a half centripetal gyri, a central flexure and two centrifugal gyri. The spiral ansa, which was similar to an ellipse, was fixed to the whole left face of the mesenterium. Apart from the peritoneal folds described in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria, three additional, hitherto not described folds were found: a fold that fixed the caecum to the proximal ansa of the ascending colon, one that joined the terminal part of the proximal ansa to the last centrifugal gyrus of the spiral ansa of the ascending colon, and one that linked the ascending duodenum to the proximal ansa of the ascending colon. When compared with published data from other cervids of different feeding niches, it appears that, among cervids, the ratio of small intestine to the caecocolon length does not reflect the natural diet.
Morales-Piñeyrúa, Jéssica Tatiana; Ciappesoni, Gabriel; Ungerfeld, Rodolfo
Our objectives were to determine if success index of pampas deer females is related with females' age and if social rank makes any influence on reproductive performance. Female social rank was determined in 18 groups of animals composed of 1 male: 5-9 females (total=98 females). Date of parturition for each female and sex and birth weight of fawns were recorded for each birth. The females were categorized in three hierarchical ranks: low (<0.33) (group LR), medium (0.33-0.66) (group MR), and high (>0.66) (group HR). The success index increased with age in pampas deer females (P<0.001). Social rank had no effect on calving success, relative calving dates, sex ratio or body weight at birth. In this study, the success index was related with females' age, and the reproductive performance did not differ between females of different social ranks.
Erdoğan, S; Pérez, W
This research presents morphological characteristics of adrenal glands and a demonstration of arterial vascularization in the Pampas deer, which is considered to be in extreme danger of extinction. A total of ten deer constituted the material of the study. Vascularization of organs was investigated by using latex injection technique. Left adrenal glands were basically supplied by coeliac, cranial mesenteric, renal and lumbal arteries. The arterial vascularization of the left adrenal glands was very complex in comparison with right adrenal glands. In two examples, branch of the lumbal artery was divided into phrenic caudal artery and cranial adrenal artery. In six examples, it was observed that the caudomedial and ventral regions of the left adrenal glands were also supplied by thinner branches that stemmed from second left lumbal artery. Besides, coeliac and cranial mesenteric arteries also gave off shorter branches supplying the cranial region of the left adrenal glands in five examples. It was determined that two branches originated from abdominal aorta directly for supplying left adrenal glands in only two examples. In four examples, two caudal adrenal arteries stemmed separately from left renal artery in a short distance. Arterial vascularization of right adrenal glands was more constant and supplied by lumbal and renal arteries. The adrenal glands were generally oval or round shaped. In only two examples, left adrenal glands were 'V-' or heart-shaped. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in sizes between right and left adrenal glands.
Fumagalli, F; Damián, J P; Ungerfeld, R
The aim of this study was to characterize the vocalizations produced during electroejaculation under general anaesthesia in pampas deer males and to determine whether the characteristics of those vocalizations differ in adult and young pampas deer males. Electroejaculation was applied to 13 adults (AM) and 13 young (YM) males under general anaesthesia. Vocalizations were digitally recorded, and the number and duration of vocalizations, the latency in relation to each voltage, the total time vocalizing, and the structure of the fundamental frequency (F0) [initial frequency (F(start)), maximal frequency (F(max)), minimal frequency (F(min)) and final frequency (F(end))] were analysed. No male vocalized with 0 V; the number of animals that vocalized increased at 2 and 3 V and increased again at 4, 5 and 6 V (p < 0.05). The latency time from the beginning of each series (each voltage) decreased until 4 V (p < 0.01). The number of vocalizations/voltage increased from 4 V (p < 0.05). The length of each vocalization and the total time during which animals vocalized were greater in YM than AM (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01, respectively). Similarly, the fundamental frequencies were higher in YM than AM (p ≤ 0.05). Overall, we concluded that the vocalizations emitted during electroejaculation in pampas deer under general anaesthesia are related to the voltage applied during the process. Young males vocalize more time, probably due to a greater sensibility to the electric stimulation. The differences in the characteristics of the vocalizations between adult and young males may be related to the anatomic differences in the neck of adult or young males.
Background Illegal hunting is one of the major threats to vertebrate populations in tropical regions. This unsustainable practice has serious consequences not only for the target populations, but also for the dynamics and structure of tropical ecosystems. Generally, in cases of suspected illegal hunting, the only evidence available is pieces of meat, skin or bone. In these cases, species identification can only be reliably determined using molecular technologies. Here, we reported an investigative study of three cases of suspected wildlife poaching in which molecular biology techniques were employed to identify the hunted species from remains of meat. Findings By applying cytochrome b (cyt-b) and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) molecular markers, the suspected illegal poaching was confirmed by the identification of three wild species, capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), Chaco Chachalaca (Ortalis canicollis) and Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus). In Brazil, hunting is a criminal offense, and based on this evidence, the defendants were found guilty and punished with fines; they may still be sentenced to prison for a period of 6 to 12 months. Conclusions The genetic analysis used in this investigative study was suitable to diagnose the species killed and solve these criminal investigations. Molecular forensic techniques can therefore provide an important tool that enables local law enforcement agencies to apprehend illegal poachers. PMID:22863070
Vieira, Anahi S; Narduche, Lorena; Martins, Gabriel; Schabib Péres, Igor A H F; Zimmermann, Namor P; Juliano, Raquel S; Pellegrin, Aiesca O; Lilenbaum, Walter
Leptospiral infection is widespread in wildlife. In this context, wild ecosystems in tropical countries hold a vast biodiversity, including several species that may act as potential reservoirs of leptospires. The Pantanal biome presents highly favorable environmental conditions for the occurrence of leptospirosis, such as high temperatures, constant flooding, and high biodiversity. The purpose of this study was to detect wild animals as carriers of Leptospira sp. using direct methods (PCR and culture) in the Pantanal biome, Brazil. A total of 35 animals were studied, namely Cerdocyon thous, Nasua nasua, Ozotoceros bezoarticus, and Sus scrofa species. Blood for serology (MAT) and urine for bacteriological culturing and PCR was sampled. The most prevalent serogroups were Javanica and Djasiman. Additionally, 40.6% of these animals presented PCR positive reactions. Seroreactivity associated with the high frequency of leptospiral carriers among the different studied species suggests a high level of exposure of the studied animals to pathogenic Leptospira strains. Our results are still limited and the actual role of the studied animals in the epidemiology of leptospirosis in the Pantanal region remains to be elucidated.
Retrospective study of central nervous system lesions and association with Parelaphostrongylus species by histology and specific nested polymerase chain reaction in domestic camelids and wild ungulates.
Dobey, Carrie L; Grunenwald, Caroline; Newman, Shelley J; Muller, Lisa; Gerhold, Richard W
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from elk (Cervus elaphus), goats, and camelids with case histories and lesions suggestive of Parelaphostrongylus tenuis were examined by histology to characterize lesions that could aid in definitively diagnosing P. tenuis infection. Additionally, sections of paraffin-embedded tissue were used in a nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) using Parelaphostrongylus-specific primers to determine how PCR results corresponded with histological findings. Histological changes in brain and spinal cord consisted of linear tracks of hemorrhage; tracks or perivascular accumulations of hemosiderin-laden macrophages; acute foci of axonal degeneration and/or linear glial scars; and perivascular, parenchymal, or meningeal accumulations of eosinophils and/or lymphocytes and plasma cells. Of the 43 samples with histologic lesions consistent with neural larval migrans, 19 were PCR positive; however, only 8 were confirmed Parelaphostrongylus by DNA sequencing. Additionally, 1 goat was identified with a protostrongylid that had a 97% identity to both Parelaphostrongylus odocoilei and a protostrongylid nematode from pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus celer) from Argentina. None of the histologic lesions individually or in combination correlated statistically to positive molecular tests for the nematode. The results indicate that it is possible to extract Parelaphostrongylus DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, but extended fixation presumably can cause DNA crosslinking. Nested PCR provides another diagnostic tool to identify the cause of neurologic disease in camelids and elk with histologic lesions consistent with neural larval migrans. Furthermore, potential novel protostrongylid DNA was detected from a goat with lesions consistent with P. tenuis infection, suggesting that other neurotropic Parelaphostrongylus species may occur locally.